In the autumn of 2019 Leuven, together with cities such as Madrid, Amsterdam and Vienna, was included in the European programme "Healthy, Clean Cities". Leuven 2030 vzw and the city of Leuven are now receiving a subsidy of 700,000 euros as part of that programme to give a boost to Leuven's promising climate approach in 2020.
As a pilot city in this programme, Leuven can also count on the expertise of four European partners, who assist Leuven in achieving its ambitious climate targets. Leuven 2030, the city of Leuven and these experts are currently looking into which concrete projects will really bring about major breakthroughs in our city over the next few years.
With the programme "Healthy, Clean Cities", the European expertise centre EIT Climate-KIC supports ten European cities in realising their climate approach. The ten cities participating in this programme have all been selected on the basis of their ambitious climate plans and the process they have already put in place to make them a reality. Due to the city-wide operation of Leuven 2030 and the unique action plan developed by the non-profit organisation last year, Leuven has an interesting lead over the other cities in order to move faster and take the lead in this process.
This action plan, better known as the Roadmap 2025 - 2035 - 2050, shows very clearly what steps we need to take year after year to make Leuven a climate-neutral city by 2050. Katrien Rycken, director of Leuven 2030, is very enthusiastic about these European subsidies that Leuven 2030 and the city of Leuven are now receiving. "These 700,000 euros and the expertise of the EIT Climate-KIC partners will help us to define and realise a number of more complex projects in the shortest time possible in the field of building renovation, greening, making mobility more sustainable and financing the climate transition. This collection of ambitious breakthrough projects will be known in the course of February," says Katrien Rycken. Among other things, a greening project and a thorough renovation of the neighbourhood are already part of the selection.
"The cities are taking the lead in the whole climate issue," adds Mayor Mohamed Ridouani. "We are very proud that Europe recognises Leuven as a pilot city and provides the necessary resources and expertise. In this way, we can speed up the process of creating a city that is sustainable, liveable and pleasant for our children and grandchildren in the future as well".
"We have to shift up a gear in the coming years and that will take a lot of resources. We therefore welcome the expertise and financial support of EIT Climate-KIC and hope that this is the beginning of a long, fruitful collaboration," says David Dessers, alderman for climate and sustainability. "It's fantastic that a city like Leuven is in a partnership with cities like Vienna and Amsterdam."
Last year, Leuven 2030 presented its Roadmap 2025 - 2035 - 2050, a unique action plan showing the steps we need to take year after year to make Leuven a climate-neutral city in a socially just way. The so-called breakthrough projects, which can count on the financial support and expertise of EIT Climate-KIC in the coming years, are the result of this Roadmap.
EIT Climate-KIC is a knowledge and innovation network committed to supporting with expertise and financial resources projects and processes that help society move towards a climate-neutral, carbon-free future. It is part of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) of the European Union. Through this partnership with EIT Climate-KIC, Leuven 2030 and the City of Leuven will collaborate with world leaders in innovation efforts, financial solutions and engaging citizens and politicians in climate action.